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By Sophie Coward, Progression Mentor @ Fareham College


With the support of SUN Progression Mentor Sophie at Fareham College, three students were
successful in gaining places to study at brand new university The Engineering Design Institute, TEDI London, to study Global Design Engineering, and were also each awarded the Assessment Centre
Performance Scholarship.

At Fareham College, students at the CEMAST campus study a variety of hands- on vocational
courses in engineering subjects. Following the interrupted learning of 2020 they faced a huge
challenge when they began their university applications. Unsurprisingly, this contributed to heightened
reservations about progression to university. One of the particular hesitations the students had was
about the cost of university and moving away; would they even be able to afford to study in London,
was it even worth applying? With encouragement and reassurance several students took the plunge
and begun their application journey.

After working hard to produce expressive and passionate personal statements, three students from
CEMAST, two of whom were engaged in the Uni Connect programme received an invitation to
interview and assessment at TEDI. The students were given one week to work on a project brief that
they would then pitch to a panel of interviewers from the university. Each student was tasked with
designing a product that would support a person experiencing Dementia or Alzheimer’s, detailing the
design, rational and project development of their idea.

All three students worked exceptionally hard on their projects and came up with fascinating and
innovative designs, drawing both on their skills in engineering and their own personal experiences
that influenced the compassionate angle with which they approach their projects.
It was amazing supporting the students through the process; their enthusiasm shone, and you could
tell that pursuing engineering at university was the right path for them. Together the students drafted,
redrafted, and drafted again until they were happy with their idea and finally presented to a panel of
college staff in a mock interview. The level of professionalism and subject expertise they
demonstrated was impressive- nerves were overcome and their confidence in their designs was

All three students sailed through our Assessment Centre tasks with flying colours. The panels commented that they had really tackled the project as we would like TEDI-London students to – they were very motivated, passionate about engineering, had interesting project ideas which they presented clearly and all spoke with enthusiasm about team work
Judy Raper
Dean and CEO at TEDI-London

Following the success of their pitches, all three students were awarded an annual scholarship of
£2,250 based purely on the merits of their exceptional performance at interview. Only four of these
grants were awarded nationally so this achievement, especially for the Uni Connect students, was
one to be proud of and the positive impact this additional funding will have on the students will
certainly be significant.

One year later, and the college was lucky enough to be visited by one of the Uni Connect students
who was acting as an ambassador for TEDI. The student was able to share his successes with the
new cohort of engineers in training and hopefully students will continue to be as inspired to pursue
engineering at HE as he was.

Sophie Coward